The federal government will freeze all pay rises for department secretaries and agency heads until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
The government will ask Australian Public Service commissioner Peter Woolcott to freeze pay for the Senior Executive Service, according to finance minister Mathias Cormann.
On Tuesday Cormann told The Australian the Remuneration Tribunal will be asked to freeze pay for all positions it governs “until after the coronavirus crisis has been resolved”, including the salaries of department and agency heads.
The pay packets of politicians, judges and ministerial staff will also be frozen, Cormann noted.
“The government will continue to work with bargaining representatives on a new enterprise agreement [for staff] once the crisis has been resolved,” he said.
In recent years the Remuneration Tribunal has awarded top federal public servants 2% pay increases, although in 2014 and 2015 there was no increase.
Australia’s highest paid public servants include Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Frances Adamson ($936,442), Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Phil Gaetjens ($914,460), Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan ($838,357), Finance secretary Rosemary Huxtable ($821, 438), and Defence secretary Greg Moriarty ($886,145). Chief of Defence Angus Campbell earns a whopping $1.024 million.